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Syllabification: sa·dism
Pronunciation: /ˈsāˌdizəm

Definition of sadism in English:


1The tendency to derive pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation on others.
Example sentences
  • They include auto-mutilation of her genitals with a razor, voyeurism, taking sexual pleasure in urination, sadism, and masochism.
  • This showed that CPA was an effective agent in the treatment of very severe paraphilias, in this case sexual sadism and pedophilia that resulted in a sexually motivated homicide.
  • Yet this scenario of male sadism and necrophiliac fetishism, this duality of adoration and humiliation does not feel quite right.
1.1(In general use) deliberate cruelty.
Example sentences
  • What follows is a litany of deceit, double-crosses, sadism, crimes, cruelty and surprises along the way.
  • The result is a rising tide of neglect, cruelty, sadism, and joyous malignity that staggers and appalls me.
  • People can become monsters in these circumstances, which invite atrocities and license sadism and gratuitous cruelty.


late 19th century: from French sadisme, from the name of the Marquis de Sade, Comte de.



Example sentences
  • Jeffrey Dahmer was not a sadist, necrophiliac and cannibal who preyed on 16 children and young males ‘in a vacuum’.
  • The most dangerous type of rapist is the sexual sadist.
  • There is a world of difference between animals tortured and killed for the pleasure of sadists, and animals stunned (which the law requires) and killed for food.

Definition of sadism in:

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Pronunciation: ˌsasərˈdōtl
relating to priests or the priesthood; priestly